MUMBOJOIBO 130 from any thing worse than a slight headache they do not hesitate to consult a 'Western "physician.1 Naturally, they do not advertise these lapses from the true faith ; it would not be good for trade ; and in the meantime they continue to treat the ignorant millions of India with a variety of dopes which are tragically ineffective. ii This is not the place for a lengthy description of the principles of Ayurveda ; several volumes would be needed. The main body of the 'science'—if it can be dignified by such a name—is to be found in the ancient Yedic scriptures, which were, of course, com- posed in Sanscrit. For over two thousand years Sanscrit was the exclusive perquisite of the Brahmins, the most conservative body of men that any nation has ever produced since history bsgan. It may therefore be gathered that Ayurveda did not advance very far along the lines of pure research. It did, however, accumulate to itself over the centuries a considerable debris of extraneous superstitions, which had no connection with the original Vedic hymns. For instance, it borrowed a good deal of the jargon of astrology. It also allowed authority to two ancient Hindu physicians by name Charaka and Susruta, whose works, translated into Arabic by Ar Razi, are among the curios of medical literature* Anything that sounded likely to appeal to the credulity of the peasant was incorporated in Ayurveda ; it became a sort of witch's cauldron; and its brew, though flavoured strongly with a religious essence, was sharpened by scraps of black magic, local fairy tales, and even, from time to time, oddments from Western con- sulting rooms. The brew, none the less, remains largely poisonous and—to Western Ideas—wholly bogus. This is the system which, in the name of nationalism, is rapidly assuming responsibility for the health of one-fifth of the human race. 1 One classic example, of course, was afforded by G-andhi himself. Gandhi had spent a large part of his life inveighing against European doctors, whose hospitals he described as 'institutions for propagating sin/ Yet when he himself developed appendicitis he forgot all about his Ayurvedic counsellors, and was operated upon, by a British doctor.